Austin (June 3, 2009) – Hill Country Alliance (HCA) board member Colleen Gardner has been appointed director of Blanco-Pedernales Groundwater Conservation District (GCD) Place 2.
Gardner, Bamberger Ranch Preserve executive director, is well-known for conservation education at the ranch. With her business expertise and environmental resource management knowledge, Gardner brings both fiscal savvy and experience in water matters to the GCD appointment.
“This is a critical time to be on a Groundwater Conservation District,” Gardner said. “The decisions we make now will determine if the Hill Country has water 50 years from now.”
Gardner is currently focused on the Texas Water Development Board’s mandate that all Groundwater Conservation Districts decide “desired future conditions” for the district’s aquifers in 2050. One of the largest threats to aquifer health is drawdown, which causes lower water-levels due to over-pumping. She will work with the board to submit a plan that focuses on minimizing drawdown.
With the 2010 deadline determining the area’s planned water use for the next 40 years approaching, Gardner takes the task very seriously. “This document is due in 2010 and then we’re locked in,” Gardner said. “We need a practical, feasible plan that we will still be happy with in the decades to come.”
To supplement responsible water planning, Gardner hopes to increase awareness of water issues and cultivate civic responsibility, starting by using herself as an example.
“I’m always telling people to get involved in the issues that are important to them,” Gardner said. “By deciding to do this, I finally took my own advice.”
She describes the current stance on water issues as “analysis paralysis” - hesitation to make changes with collected data while more of the same information is collected. The time for analysis is over, she says, and now it is time to start working with the information available to preserve the water and plan responsibly. “We know enough now,” Gardner said. “Timely action is crucial to preserving our water resources.”
The Hill Country Alliance is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to raise public awareness and build community support around the need to preserve the natural resources and heritage of the Central Texas Hill Country.
Please visit the HCA website www.hillcountryalliance.org for the latest news and events, and to learn more about our initiatives and how you can contribute to our activities.